General Manager Public Affairs of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Yakubu Dati has said that aviation at the rate it is moving now is set to spear head the diversification of the Nigeria economy via provision of immediate transportation to perishable good.
This is just as he explained that that aspect of it was just a snippet as the authority will develop its cargo to enable it contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ensure that Nigeria is a contributor to earnings from cargo in the coming year.
Speaking in his office exclusively to our reporter, Dati decried that in 2010 a lot of money was made worldwide in cargo sections and Nigeria contributed absolutely zero to that. He said that the country was strategically situated and has potential to benefit from earnings in the cargo sector.
“Worldwide passenger traffic is not where the money is in aviation, more money is in cargo development. The year 2010 over $300 billion was made from cargo in the world how much did we have from Nigeria? Zero per cent and that is a sector that is growing. That is why there is now so much emphasis on that and Nigeria is so strategically situated that we will benefit from that”
He explained that the country also has a wonderful climate and there was no need for farmers in the agricultural sector to plant food stuff that would go to waste if a market is created and adequate transportation provided.
He posited that such will stop rural urban migration, create employment and development in the area
He said,” This is one place where you plant things and they just grow. We have a beautiful weather and not harsh ones with snow, tsunamis and these are God’s gifts we can translate to our advantage. Look at Israel, they do not have water but the make billions of Naira by using their technology and growing roses they transport to America for Valentine. “
“Now we have potatoes in the north, cassavas in the east, rice everywhere and during the harvest period our farmers experience losses because there is always a gloat in the market because so much is produced, so by the time you create an access for these product, you are creating market for farmers so they know once they produce there is market and their goods will go and so they are not left with their goods.”
“Secondly, it empowers them because they now have more money in their pockets it makes farming more profitable and it encourages more young people to farming, there will be no need for the young ones to start rushing into the cities for white collar jobs if you can make more money in your farm since there is a market. “
“This will boost economic activities, the airports will be busy and the airlines also will have a reason to fly into those destinations instead of just Lagos and Abuja because they can fly into Enugu or Owerri for instance to fly out products and so it is profitable so we are doing a lot there to ensure that apart from earnings and employment it brings, aviation will also contribute to the GDP of the nation because there will be a lot of economic activities that will have positive impact.”
“If you look at the days of old where we used to export rubber, the ground nut pyramids were there, the cocoa was there and all these vanished because the oil came in and people are saying what we do when the oil finishes. So aviation is taking the gauntlet and taking the lead in creating it.. to show we have something more than oil that is sustainable, if properly developed we can sustain this country and take us to that era.”